Homepage / Technology / People are saying Apple should buy Netflix. Forget it. It's too late
Google and Facebook are watching our every move online. It's time to make them stop Daymond John tells shy airline passenger: You should have talked to me on the plane South Korea says it has no plans to shut down cryptocurrency trading AMD shares surge as Wall Street analysts say the chipmaker is ‘executing on all fronts’ James Altucher, the face of bitcoin, says he’s happy about Facebook’s cryptocurrency ad ban Pending home sales eke out 0.5 percent gain in December as supply shrinks to record low Uber is testing bike sharing in San Francisco The real source of the internet's problems might be the advertising business Game publisher EA's sales forecast tops estimates, sending shares higher GE will likely be dropped from the Dow, Deutsche Bank predicts Samsung surpasses Intel as world's biggest chipmaker for the first time Apple could be the best of the bunch in this tech earnings avalanche The 9-year stock rally still has 'years left,' says one of Wall Street's most bullish strategists Apple: We would never degrade the iPhone experience to get users to buy new phones Bitcoin headed for biggest monthly drop since January 2015 with nearly $60 billion of value wiped off ADP boosts forecast as new tax law spurs demand China 'will open even wider to the UK,' says Prime Minister Li Keqiang Big market swings are something you’re going to have to get used to, says Wells Fargo The dollar keeps weakening. Is that good news for the world? Apple downgraded by BMO, expects iPhone maker to slash revenue forecast this week SoftBank buys majority stake in Japanese messaging giant Line’s mobile division Rising interest rates cause a 2.6% pullback in weekly mortgage applications Trump's State of the Union address 'less hard' than first feared in Asia Trump vows to protect US intellectual property, without naming China Blockchain technology to boost Microsoft earnings, trader says Fujifilm to take over Xerox and combine it into the joint venture Fuji Xerox Samsung is making chips designed to mine cryptocurrencies like bitcoin There’s a risk of market turbulence, but it’s unlikely to hit until 2019, says Santander chairman We'll see up to a 15 percent correction in 2018, Swiss bank CEO says Japan's biggest messaging app Line is planning to launch a cryptocurrency exchange Quicksilver surfwear CEO missing at sea off the coast of France Venezuela says will pre-sell 'petro' cryptocurrency on Feb. 20 Nintendo ups its Switch sales expectations to 15 million units after profits rise 261% European markets seen mixed amid earnings and economic data The UK wants free trade with China. Beijing has its own goals Santander fourth-quarter net profit down 4 percent on US impairments The man who almost became ambassador to South Korea just warned about US plans for North Korea China's Leshi Internet flags $1.8 billion loss for 2017, citing conglomerate cash crunch South Korea says it uncovered about $600 million in cryptocurrency crimes Asia became less democratic in 2017 Al Gore's investment firm backs start-up created by Facebook co-founder Theresa May says she wants a free trade deal with China Chinese manufacturing weaker than expected in January Webpass is leaving Boston in latest sign of Google Fiber’s shrinking ambitions Samsung posts record fourth-quarter profit Asian shares look set for more declines as Wall Street sells off for a second day Don't count insurers out yet after Amazon-Berkshire-JP Morgan move Amazon's health care move could be a big win for consumer health start-ups Red Hat buys CoreOS, a start-up that sold tech developed by Google Here’s what Amazon told employees today about its landmark deal to deliver better health care Top official resigns after false missile alert in Hawaii Crazy odds: These online traders bet on the chaos of Washington and the Trump administration AMD falls despite beating Q4 estimates Facebook ban on bitcoin ads latest in very bad day for cryptocurrencies Indian man dies after being sucked into an MRI machine while carrying an oxygen cylinder Advice for Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon from a failed effort to control health costs Toys R Us poor holiday sales cast doubts on its future and could force renegotiation of loan terms The Apple sell-off is a buying opportunity into earnings, says trader Google partnership on mobile cloud services drives up MobileIron shares Facebook is banning all ads promoting cryptocurrencies — including bitcoin and ICOs Amazon's moves in health care over the last year are finally starting to make sense Buffett is getting a second chance to partner with Bezos after missing on Amazon as an investment How Pencils of Promise got a $1 million donation from an anonymous bitcoin multi-millionaire Amazon's home devices could be a key to cheaper health care, tech investor Roger McNamee says Two ex-Google engineers built an entirely different kind of self-driving car Cryptocurrencies join the global financial market sell-off as bitcoin drops 7% A travel agent is trying to charge fees for sunbeds Most of the tax cut windfall will boost buybacks and dividends, not workers' pockets, survey predicts The professor who wrote the book on making addictive technology is having second thoughts Trump's immigration policies are 'economic poison' that will cost taxpayers billions Airbnb trolls President Trump ahead of the State of the Union The iPhone X's $1,000 price tag scared everyone away Drop, a rewards app start-up, snags Airbnb's former head of engineering SEC halts one of the largest 'ICOs' ever as it wades deeper into the murky world of cryptocurrency offerings Passing on sanctions, Trump goes even softer on Russia than expected Buy insurers on dip as new initiative from Amazon, Berkshire and JP Morgan is ‘more bark than bite’: Analyst High schools stock up on Narcan to combat teen opioid crisis in US Apple will finally replace the fax machine in health care Apple is reportedly delaying new iOS features until next year because of quality problems Bond expert predicts a ‘wall of buying’ in Treasurys will protect the stock market Home prices surge to new high, up 6.2% in November Noted tech investor says the sector is not the best place to invest right now Sterling predicted to hit pre-Brexit vote level before the end of 2018 Stocks making the biggest moves premarket: AMZN, BRKB, JPM, AAPL, BX, TSLA & more Bitcoin boom to give AMD earnings a boost, says MKM Partners Apple shares fall again on another report of fading iPhone X demand Trump advisor Cohn: President to focus on $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan in State of the Union Why don't foreign investors take fright more often? The dollar is doing something it hasn’t done since 1987 UnitedHealth, CVS plunge on Bezos, Buffett and Dimon plan to improve U.S. health care Amazon, Berkshire and JPMorgan Chase to team in landmark new health care company Can earnings afford to slow down? 'Enemies of the USA': Russia slams America's list of oligarchs with ties to Putin The app that exposed the location of military bases with a heat map is reviewing its features For his next act, former Amex CEO Ken Chenault turns his focus on Silicon Valley Child experts: Just say ‘no’ to Facebook’s kids app Ryanair agrees to recognize British pilots union for first time Arab states are 'determined' to stick with reforms despite deepening 'frustration', IMF says The US 'oligarch list' is strikingly similar to Forbes’ richest Russians ranking Indian ride-hailing firm Ola expands to Australia to take on Uber


People are saying Apple should buy Netflix. Forget it. It's too late

Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about Apple possibly buying Netflix. The new round of speculation seems to have been kick-started by Barry Ritholtz in Bloomberg View last November. (Some skeptical takes are here and here.)

Forget it. It’s too late. There’s no chance this will happen now.

Here’s why.

It’s too expensive — even for Apple.

Netflix is trading at all-time highs. Its market cap is around $94 billion. Barry Ritholtz’s piece in November thought that Apple could pick it up for $100 billion. I can guarantee you that there’s no chance that Tim Cook could buy Netflix from Reed Hastings for just a 6% premium.

And never forget that Reed Hastings is a Netflix founder. Founders generally see enormous potential ahead of the business and are reluctant to pass over the keys to their car for a tiny premium.

It would be especially difficult for Reed to sell when Netflix has reached escape velocity as an Over-The-Top (OTT) service and continues to see robust subscription growth across the world. Most new TVs today come with distinct Netflix buttons on the remotes.

Netflix now has over 100 million subscribers worldwide. A few years ago, many analysts and observers thought it was unlikely that they’d break past 30 million domestic subscribers because that had previously been a ceiling for HBO.

Of course, there’s strategic logic to Apple buying Netflix. They have a subscription music service in Apple Music. They certainly need a subscription video service. They’ve already hired Hollywood talent to oversee their own original video strategy and they’ve earmarked money for stars like Jennifer Anniston and Reese Witherspoon. They’re going to need a video service. They won’t just throw it up on Apple Music and hope that you see it like Planet of the Apps.

But my guess is that, Apple being Apple (i.e., acquisition averse), they’ll just do it themselves without buying anyone.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve long wanted to see Apple go on an acquisition binge. I’d previously argued in 2011 when Facebook was worth $50 billion that Apple should buy it for $100 billion. Last year, around this time, I pointed out that Apple had really missed the window to buy Tesla, Netflix, and Instagram.

The time to acquire Netflix would have been back in 2014 or earlier. Back then, Netflix was still in the early days of rolling out its original programming strategy. Its subscriber base was much smaller. And — most importantly — its market cap was about 25% of where it is currently.

As a Netflix shareholder, I’d benefit if there was some buyout of the company. But I don’t think Reed Hastings would accept an offer even at a 100% premium today. And it would likely take that type of premium just to get him and his board to consider it. That’s simply too big a check — even for Apple, the biggest company in the world. You’re talking a $200 billion takeout price.

Apple can still have success doing its own thing with its video service. It will probably be the #2 streaming service behind Netflix for a while (perhaps until Disney’s service launches in 2019). It has the #2 music service with Apple Music after Spotify. Apple still has a lot of potential for future growth in front of it.

I will still scratch my head though at why they weren’t more aggressive from an M&A perspective a few years ago — even if they would have had to pay a little bit more in repatriation taxes to do so.

The window to buy Netflix is now firmly shut.

[Affiliates controlled by Eric Jackson have long positions in NFLX, DIS and AAPL]

Commentary by Eric Jackson, sign up for Eric’s monthly Tech & Media Email and his Podcast. You can follow Eric on Twitter @ericjackson .

Source: Tech CNBC
People are saying Apple should buy Netflix. Forget it. It's too late

Comments are closed.